I hope you all had a great New Year's eve and are ready for the year to come! We had a few different offers for an evening of celebration with friends, but after being out of town every single weekend since before Thanksgiving, and just getting back from an entire week with family in eastern WA on friday, we decided to have a quiet evening at home.
I made lentil "meatballs" and a big salad for dinner. We settled in to watch a movie about The New York Times and there was even a few leftover cookies from Christmas for dessert. It was the kind of night that seemed so normal, even though many people were out celebrating, but it just felt right for us. It was the quiet evening we really needed.
Over the last week or so I've reflected on what 2011 was for me. It was a great year in terms of growth and learning even more about myself as my husband and I continue running our small business. I don't ever really make resolutions on the new year; I prefer to reflect on my birthday. Not resolutions so much, as goals and/or fulfilling ideas. Since my birthday is in November, by the time the new year rolls around, it's like a little reminder to see if I'm on track.
I also want to thank all you dear readers. I don't thank you enough, but everyday I am grateful to have your support and I'm surprised every time, by the kindest of comments and emails you've left for me. It's my little space on the web where I come to share recipes, photos, and short stories from my life and it truly is a place I look forward to coming to. I have a few things I'm excited to share with you in the new year (can't wait!), but you'll have to wait.
Spicy Lentil Collard Wraps / makes 6-8
I've combined red lentils with bulgar and spices as a great filling for wraps. To keep it on the lighter side, post all that holiday food, I used collard greens for the wrap rather than a flat bread. Slightly spicy with a hint of nuttiness from the tahini. These are a healthy and super satisfying meal. If you prefer your collard greens cooked, bring a large pot of water to a boil, place the leaves, one at a time, in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove and let dry between a clean towel, repeat. this will also make the leaves a little more pliable when rolling.
1 cup dried red lentils
1/2 cup bulgar
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
big pinch cayenne
6-8 collard leaves
1 medium carrot, thinly shaved
fresh lemon juice
Rinse and drain lentils and place in a saucepan. Cover with water 2-3 times the amount of lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. Drain and let cool briefly.
To cook the bulgar, place in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Once the liquid is absorbed, cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Place the cooked lentils, cooked bulgar, onion, parsley, cumin, salt, and cayenne into the bowl of a food processor. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Take a collard leaf, trim off the thick stalk and carefully, with a sharp knife, shave down the middle of the stalk so it's even with the leaf. This will help with rolling. Place down a layer of the shaved carrots, then roughly a 1/2 cup of the lentil mixture (see image). Spoon on some tahini, squeeze a bit of lemon juice and hot sauce, then carefully start to roll, starting with the sides and tucking the end of the leaf under at the end, kind of like rolling up a burrito. For larger wraps you can double the leaves up.
Stored in an airtight container in the fridge and you've got yourself lunch ready to go for a week!